CTA Surface System History presented by the Illinois Railway Museum

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Route Descriptions by Route Name

Surface Routes
Addison * Addison Limited * Archer * Archer Exp * Archer Expwy
Archer-Austin Archer-Franklin Exp * Archer-Harlem Archer-Narragansett Archer-NW Station
Armitage * Ashland * Ashland-Archer Ashland-Downtown Austin *
Bell & Howell * Belmont * Belmont, East Blue Island-26th * Broadway *
Broadway-State California, North * California, South * Canal-Wacker * Central *
Central Ltd Central, North Central-Grant Central-Sherman * Cermak *
Cermak, West * Chicago * Cicero * Cicero, South * Cicero, North-Skokie Blvd *
Clark * Clark-Wentworth Cottage Grove Covers/Cover Letters Culture Bus *
Cumberland-East River * Cumberland Exp Damen * Damen, North * Damen, South
Devon * Devon, West Devon-Cicero Devon-Northwest Exp Devon-Sheridan *
Diversey * Division * Dodge Douglas * Douglas Ext *
Drexel-Hyde Park Elston Supplementary * Elston-Clybourn * Emerson-Dempster Evanston RT Emerg Bus Serv *
Foster * Foster, West * Foster-Canfield * Foster-East River * Foster-Lawrence *
Foster-Northwest Hwy Fullerton * Fullerton, East Fullerton, West Garage Routes
Garfield * Garfield Exp Garfield Park Ext Garfield-55th Grand *
Grant Park Treasures Halsted Halsted, South * Halsted-Archer Halsted-Downtown
Halsted-95th * Harlem * Harlem, North * Harrison * Harrison-Adams *
Higgins Hyde Park * Hyde Park Exp * Illinois Center-NW Exp * Illinois Center-Union Exp *
Indiana * Indiana-Hyde Park * International Towers * Irving Park * Irving Park, West *
Irving Park,West Exp * Jackson Jackson Exp Jackson-Independence Jackson Supplementary
Jeffery Jeffery Exp Jeffery Manor Exp Jeffery Manor Ltd Kedzie, North
Kedzie, South Kedzie-California Kedzie-Homan Kimball Kimball-Homan
King Drive King Drive Ltd Lake Lake Shore Exp, South Laramie
LaSalle Lawrence Lawrence, West 'L'ephant Lincoln
Lincoln-Larrabee Lincoln-Wabash Lunch Loop Shuttle Lunt Lunt-Touhy
Madison Madison-Fifth Magnificent Mile Exp Main-Emerson Main-Oakton
Marine-Michigan Marine-MichiganExp Marquette McCormick McCormick Place-NW Station
Michigan Exp Michigan, South Michigan-State-Wacker Michigan-119th Midway Park 'n' Ride
Milwaukee Milwaukee, North Misc Routes Monroe Parking Montrose
Montrose-Lawrence Morgan-Racine Narragansett Narragansett Exp Narragansett-Ridgeland
North NorthLtd North-Narragansett North-Narragansett-Irving Park Northeastern Illinois University
Northwest Hwy NW-Franklin NW-Madison NW-Union Stations-Museums NW-Union Stations-Soldier Field
NW-Wacker Exp Ogden Ogden-Downtown Ogden-Randolph O'Hare
O'Hare Exp Ohio-Union Station Orleans Outer Drive Exp Pershing
Peterson Pulaski Pulaski, South Pulaski-Stevenson Exp Pullman
Pullman-Altgeld Pullman-111th-115th Ridge-Grant Riverdale Roosevelt
Roscoe Santa Fe School Charters * Sedgwick Sedgwick-Ogden
Sheridan Sheridan Exp Sheridan-LaSalle Exp Shopping Loop Shuttle Skokie
Soldier Field Exp South Chicago South Chicago Exp South Deering South Lake Shore Exp
South Park South Park Ltd Southport South Shore Stadium Exp
State State Ltd Stateliner Stevenson Exp Stony Island
Streeterville SW Skokie Taylor-Sedgwick-Sheffield Union-Wacker Exp Vincennes-111th
Vincennes-112th Wacker Exp Wacker-NW Station Wacker-Orleans Wallace-Racine
Washington Washington Exp Water Tower Exp Wentworth Westchester
Western Western, North Western, South Wilson-LaSalle Wilson-LaSalle Exp
Wilson-Michigan Wilson-Michigan Exp Wilson-Michigan Outer Drive Exp Wrigley Field Exp Yates-95th
Yates-Colfax 14th 16th-18th * 25th Avenue 26th-31st
31st * 31st, West 35th * 35th, West-Pershing 43rd
43rd-Root 47th * 47th, West 51st 51st-55th
55th 55th-Austin 55th-Narragansett 59th-61st * 63rd *
63rd Ltd 63rd, West 65th West 67th-69th-71st * 67th-69th-79th
71st 71st-Yates 74th-75th * 75th 79th *
83rd-95th 87th 93rd-95th * 93rd, East-95th 95th
103rd-106th * 103rd, East-106th 103rd, West * 111th-115th Garage Routes *

Rapid Transit Routes
Congress-Douglas-O'Hare Douglas Evanston Evanston Exp Garfield
Howard-Dan Ryan Kenwood Lake Lake-Englewood-Jackson Park Logan Square
Loop Shuttle Midway North-South Orange Line Ravenswood
Skokie Swift Stock Yards West-Northwest West-South Yellow Line

Route names followed by an asterisk have new maps loaded. More coming soon!!




Complete System Route Index Books

Pre-1922 files are from land value-type books. 1922 and after were issued by CSL and CTA. All files are searchable .pdf so the file size can be large (noted next to each date).

  • 05/00/1905 (15 Mb)
  • 06/00/1906 (9 Mb)
  • 06/30/1906 (10 Mb)
  • 00/00/1908 (3 Mb)
  • 12/10/1908 (2 Mb)
  • 07/15/1912 (6 Mb)
  • 00/00/1915 (6 Mb)
  • 01/31/1915 (5 Mb)
  • 02/15/1922 (9 Mb)
  • 09/14/1924 (15 Mb)
  • 11/12/1933 (11 Mb)
  • 03/01/1934 (19 Mb)
  • 11/12/1934 (11 Mb)
  • 01/01/1935 (23 Mb)
  • 08/20/1936 (13 Mb)
  • 10/11/1937 (4.5 Mb)
  • 11/18/1946 (27 Mb)
  • 03/18/1948 (31 Mb)
  • 02/07/1949 (22 Mb)
  • 04/14/1950 (21 Mb)
  • 07/23/1951 (22 Mb)
  • 03/17/1952 (26 Mb)
  • 02/02/1953 (7 Mb)
  • 01/15/1954 (10 Mb)
  • 02/20/1955 (10 Mb)
  • 10/15/1957 (25 Mb)
  • 09/29/1959 (11 Mb)
  • 02/12/1962 (12 Mb)
  • 10/15/1963 (9 Mb)
  • 12/10/1964 (12 Mb)
  • 10/16/1967 (13 Mb)
  • 04/22/1970 (32 Mb)
  • 04/00/1973 (11 Mb)
  • 07/00/1974 (32 Mb)



  • UPDATED Route History

    Historian Andre Kristopans has provided IRM with updated route histories! The original histories Andre researched for the CTA can be found on the second page of selected individual route descriptions (above - sorted by route name). They are marked with an "(H)". The below link includes more detailed and updated histories as far as specific routes go. This list is sorted by route number and currently includes up to #120. Higher number routes are currently being formatted and will be available very shortly.
  • Click here for the list of updated route histories.



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